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Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadows — On the Brink of Ink-sanity

Back in the late ’80s, my Miami-based tío‘s wife decided she wanted to have her eyeliner permanently tattooed onto her lids. My mother thought it was a costly, excessive, and superfluous procedure — after all, lining your lash line is hardly a time-consuming endeavor — but my titi was steadfast in her decision. She claimed she felt self-conscious about her sparse lashes and that she wanted her lash line to appear fuller at all times. And, since this was an effect she was able to accomplish mainly via the clever use of her carbon-colored eye pencil, she reasoned that tattooing some black color onto her lash line would make her look prettier and feel more confident from the moment she arose in the morning. In the end, she went through with the procedure, but she eventually regretted it since, as with most tattoos, the color eventually faded. In addition, as time passed and the skin along her lids started puckering, the inked area also started appearing more prune-like, drawing more attention to the tiny wrinkles around her eyes. In retrospect, I imagine all my titi really needed was the type of long-wearing liners we have at our disposal nowadays. Had she, for example, been able to apply Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liner and have it last the entire day, she would have been more than content.

The point of my anecdote — aside from the need to ponder the long-term repercussions of something as permanent as a tattoo (I have six of them myself so this is by no means a condemnation of tattoos but, rather, a warning that they do constitute a lifelong commitment) — is that most women yearn for cosmetics with long-wear benefits so that they can be reassured that their looks will remain intact as they go about their daily routines (i.e. no powder meltdowns, no lipstick feathering, no streaking liner, and no creasing eye shadow).

Luckily for us, cosmetics companies have been tinkering with formulas to deliver the desired longevity — from Make Up For Ever, with its Rouge Artist lipstick line and Aqua Cream eye shadows to Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencils, Bobbi Brown’s new Long-Wear Eye Pencils,  NARS’ Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eye Pencils, MAC Cosmetics’ Pro Longwear Lipcremes, and Lancôme’s Rouge in Love lipstick range.

In recent years, Maybelline has been striving to make its product formulas as long-lasting as possible while ensuring colors remain vibrant, their textures and finishes unchanged. This Spring, Maybelline unveiled a product that combined this insistence on long wear with the revived interest in richly pigmented, melt-on-your -skin, eye-opening cream shadows: the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tatoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow ($6.99 at mass food and drug retailers; visit Maybelline.com for stores in your area).

Available in 5 vibrant “statement” shades (Pomegranate Punk, a mauve-ish plum shade; Tenacious Teal, an electric teal blue hue; Edgy Emerald, a metallic jade; Painted Purple, a punchy deep violet color; and Fierce & Tangy, a fiery tangerine) and 5 neutral hues (Bold Gold, an antique, slightly dirty-looking yellow gold saturated with shimmer; Audacious Asphalt, an intense, gunmetal-like shade with the shimmer we associate with asphalt streets or sidewalks; Bad to the Bronze, a brown-ish bronze color with an even metallic sheen; Tough as Taupe, a creamy  grayish taupe with a semi-matte finish; and Too Cool, a snowy, grayish white hue with a pearly finish.

The Color Tatoo eye shadows have a delicious texture so that they’re not as fluid and runny as a gel but they’re not as thick and clump-prone as a cream. This hybrid gel-cream texture proves ideal since it allows the shadows to adhere to the skin on your lids while also allowing you to move the color gently across the lid and blend, diffuse, and layer as desired.

For the most precise application, try using a brush like the Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow Brush 5N, which will give you greater control when blending and extending the cream color.

After the jump, you’ll find photos of some of the available Color Tattoo shades; swatches of the Bold Gold, Audacious Asphalt, Bad to the Bronze, and Tough as Taupe shadows; and a sample look created using the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Tough as Taupe.

As promised, below you’ll find close-ups of some of the Color Tattoo shaes available. The bright colors (like Painted Purple) are perfect for executing some of the season’s hottest looks, which involve statement-making eye color (particularly purples, violets, lilacs, and rich greens and blues). The neutral shades, meanwhile, will help you pull off more of a metallic-driven look that’s perfect for the steamy days of summer.

PAINTED PURPLE

TOUGH AS TAUPE

AUDACIOUS ASPHALT

BOLD GOLD

EDGY EMERALD

POMEGRANATE PUNK

BAD TO THE BRONZE

Below, you’ll find swatches of Tough as Taupe, Bold Gold, Bad to the Bronze, and Audacious Asphalt. I’m loving the Audacious Asphalt for experimenting with Fall 2012 looks, which involve slightly gothic, mysterious, smoldering eyes worthy of a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo appearance. The Bold Gold, meanwhile, has this unrefined ore quality thanks to the chunkier bits of glitter in the formula — which, oddly enough, makes it stand out from the bevy of gold cream shadows on the market (it also makes it a bit more difficult to layer, but you’d be surprised what one or two coats can accomplish). Out of these four shades, the Tough As Taupe color is my absolute favorite since it has the most ephemeral, creamy quality and the color manages to straddle the line between beige and gray. Usually, I’m drawn to bright, statement-making shades, but there was a subtle intrigue to the Tough As Taupe that won me over right away.

Here’s a shot of me wearing Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24Hr Cream Gel Shadow in Tough as Taupe. It really is pretty tough, right?

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